Capital City Clean Up: Fifteen to Clean Challenge

I first heard about the Fifteen to Clean Challenge (part of the City’s annual Capital City Clean Up campaign) at a board meeting a few months ago, and immediately thought it was a great idea. I’ve found fifteen minutes to be the perfect “amount” of time – the length of a coffee break, it’s a non-committal duration that can draw my busy colleagues out to wellness, appreciation, or in this case, community spirit activities at work.

I’ve posted about our little corner of the world before – the Avenue of Nations, Central McDougall, the North Edge – whatever you want to call it, it’s not the best neighbourhood, particularly after dark. Litter might be the least of the area’s problems, but I thought a group clean-up activity would be a great way to not only get my coworkers outside as a group for fresh air, but also show the community that we are stewards of the neighbourhood.

We bought gloves and bags, and announced the date a week in advance. Enter Murphy’s Law: the rain came. And then the snow. Pushed back three weeks, I didn’t think Mother Nature would cooperate. Finally, on Thursday, blessed with sunshine and a cooling breeze, we had our date with garbage.

Due to appointments, paperwork, and the sporadic nature of our work in general, I wasn’t sure how many of my colleagues would end up participating in the challenge, but I am happy to say that over twenty people showed up to pitch in. It’s cliché, but many hands do make light work, and you could see the difference instantly.

Doing their part


Who said cleaning can’t be fun?

Govind and I take out the trash

In all, between twenty of us, we “raised” 300 minutes of cleaning time. Thanks to my coworkers for helping out and my office for being supportive of the idea. I hope we can make this a regular affair!

3 thoughts on “Capital City Clean Up: Fifteen to Clean Challenge

  1. Congratulations, Sharon! What an incredible thoughtful and small way to make a huge impact on the environment, and the neighbourhood. I am certain the community noticed – and – well, I am simply delighted to see something so basic be initiated, carried out – and done. The sad thing is I haven’t heard of this campaign until now. What a great great idea.
    (We get our late students to do that every morning at school – but I think getting we teachers out to go clean the nearby shopping centre for 15 minutes would be brilliant!)

  2. Thanks, Valerie! Yeah, I don’t think the Fifteen to Clean campaign was well publicized – I just knew to look for it because I heard about it a few months prior.

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